Taco Bus (try not to drool)

I fought EVERYBODY when it came to trying the Taco Bus.
Food out of a bus? Off Hillsborough and Nebraska? Outside? No thanks.

Boy was I wrong.
After many begs, I finally went here and although it’s a little rough around the edges on the outside, the food is DE-LISH.

Now, I live down the street from the original “bus” and each time I go there I tell myself I’m going to order something different, however, I usually default to my go-to meal: the fish tacos with a side of guacamole. Their fish tacos are light, not greasy and topped with fresh slaw, pickled onions, pico de gallo and an amazing cream sauce. Their guacamole is to die for, and hands down the best I’ve ever had. Served with a side of tostado chips and fresh pico de gallo on top.

They also make a mean horchata (like a drinkable rice pudding) that I get every time. It’s creamy and refreshing with just a hint of cinnamon. Their food is fresh, there are TONS of vegetarian and healthy options and the staff is always friendly. The original location is open 24 hours a day, yes 24-7, and have call ahead and online ordering. The waits can be long, so it’s best to order ahead of time; especially around lunch hour!

The best news? Taco Bus has expanded all over the bay area! There are locations in Downtown Tampa, St. Pete, the USF area and their newest location: Brandon!

When Carlos, from Carlos Eats, extended an invitation to a blogger dinner he was hosting at the Brandon location, I couldn’t refuse. Both the guy and I have become major fans of the Bus, and I knew he’d jump at an opportunity to check out the new location.

The new Taco Bus is located at 301 South Falkenburg Road. Brian and I were the first to arrive and were warmly greeted by Taco Bus founder Rene Valenzuela. As we waited for the rest of the group to arrive, Rene brought us out fresh, ice cold horchatas. We sipped and chatted a bit as we looked around the new location, which is much bigger than the others. With a spacious outdoor patio seating area, indoor booths and a huge group counter top area, Taco Bus Brandon is the perfect place for groups and parties. I may or may not already be planning my next birthday party! ๐Ÿ˜‰ #Junebaby

Before we knew it, the others had arrived and the food began rolling out.

And boy did it roll!

Rene’s goal for the evening was to introduce us to some of the vegetarian options Taco Bus has to offer. With limited vegetarian restaurants in the Brandon area, Taco Bus may become a go to for all the local herbivores. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We tried SO many dishes: tofu and tempeh tostadas (amazing!), rajas con queso tostadas, cochinita pibil tostadas, carne asada tacos, butternut squash tostadas, guacamoleย  and (my favorite) creamy tres leches cake for dessert. I made sure to make room for dessert. Their tres leches does NOT disappoint! So refreshing and rich!

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As we ate, Rene told us stories of how the Taco Bus came to be. As he explains his story, you can see and hear the pride in his voice. These recipes are traditional family recipes that focus on fresh and healthy ingredients. Nothing comes out of a can around these parts. It’s a product you can feel good about putting into your body.

If you haven’t been to any of the Bay Area Taco Bus locations, go now. And if you don’t live in the area, I feel sorry for you! So sorry that I may air-mail you a carne asada burrito.

Thanks again to Rene for the hospitality and Carlos for the invitation! I had a great time and made some new blogger friends in the process! (And thank you to Gerardo Luna for this amazing group shot! Click on the link and like Gerardo Luna Photographs on Facebook!).

1186978_525838847489928_817560080_nWhat’s your favorite Taco Bus menu item?

Steph ๐Ÿ™‚

Disclosure: I was invited to try out Taco Bus for free in exchange for this blog review. All deliciously mouthwatering comments are my own. ๐Ÿ™‚


Sunday prepping

Way back in once upon a time time, I became a foodie.

I don’t know when it hit me that I love to cook, bake, entertain, and grocery shop, but once I realized the joy that playing with food brought me, there was no turning back.

I especially love to prep. I wrote this post a few months ago about how I prep lunches and snacks for the work week. The guy and I eat most of our meals at home, saving the weekends for one or two meals out. Sundays, especially during football season, are my days to do my grocery shopping, throw on Food Network, and relax in my kitchen prepping all of the week’s meals.

If there’s one question I get the most on this little darling blog of mine, it’s about food. What to eat, how to prep, low calorie recipes, etc. etc. And what I love most is sharing my recipes, experiences, tricks and tips with both my personal friends and lovely cyber friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

Prepping takes planning and thinking ahead. Going to the grocery store multiple times a week, or hopping through a fast food window shouldn’t be an option. Look to blogs, Pinterest, and recipe websites for healthy meals that are “plan ahead” or freezer friendly, stock up on casserole dishes, gallon Ziploc baggies and plastic wrap, and dedicate a couple of hours in your kitchen to make life easier during the workweek. Last but not least, make a shopping list. Know what you need to buy so that you’re not having to make multiple trips throughout the week.

And today, that’s just what I’m doing! My good friend Elizabeth is coming over for a day of shopping and prepping some make ahead meals for the week. Both of them have reached out to me for some advice when it comes to healthy meal planning, so I thought I’d bring both of them over for some hands on fun.

Here’s what we’re tackling today:

Breakfast: Mini veggie frittatas, Greek yogurt pancakes

Lunch: Turkey and veggie wraps, pico de gallo salad with black beans

Dinner: Grilled fish tacos with cilantro lime slaw, Creamy slow cooker chicken with root vegetable stuffing, slow cooker tenderloin with mashed cauliflower

When we’re all done planning, prepping and cooking, I’ll post a few pictures!